CEE – Newsletter April 2014

The WFEO‘s Standing Committee on Engineering and the Environment (CEE) have published their latest Spring newsletter (2014).
The newsletter explains how engineers can initiate programs to “maximise energy efficiency and reduce demand” as well as ” reducing users’ costs for energy and lowering Greenhouse gas emissions”.

Click here to see the the newsletter for Spring 2014.

American scientists revamp efforts

American scientists revamp efforts to educate American public of ‘irreversible’ damage of climate change.

The UN climate science panel, the PCC, will gather in Japan next week to release the second in a series of important reports. This time outlining how changing climate is affecting rainfall and heat waves, sea levels and oceans, fisheries and food security.

The American Association for the Advancement of Scientists have issues a timely warning that: “We face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes, and responding now will lower the risks and costs of taking action.”

In a rare intervention into a policy debate, AAAS urged Americans to act swiftly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and lower the risks of leaving a climate catastrophe for future generations.

There were concerens that Americans still failed to appreciate the seriousness of climate change, despite “overwhelming evidence”.

“The sooner we make a concerted effort ot curtail the burning of fossil fuels as our primary energy source and releasing the Co2 to the air, the lower our risk and cost will me.”

‘The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See’

Click here for Original Source:

It is likely that many of you would have seen this video. It was originally posted in 2007 by Greg Craven on his Youtube account wonderingmind42 and has made a recent resurgence on Social Media via upworthy.com. If there is one thing that cannot be argued it is that the video has been brilliant at stimulating conversation on Global Climate Change (GCC). The issue of GCC is something that many feel passionate about and through the social nature of websites like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter, we have a platform to openly discuss our opinions.

What is the Video about?
For those of you who don’t know – the video is simply an American high school science teacher writing on a whiteboard and talking to a camera. Although basic, the fundamental argument is compelling and discussion-worthy. Since its upload, 11 million people have seen it and that number could easily be more if you calculate the contributions from the upworthy website.

Within the video and the description beneath it, Craven was open to criticism and has since published a refined argument in the form of a critically acclaimed book. However, the basic principles remain the same. He simplifies the potential of global warming happening with two options: true or false. He then measures these two potential outcomes against the choices that we as can make: action or non action. He then rationalises the potential outcomes.

What is the argument?
‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ argues Craven. Using the table, he highlights the combination of potential results. The best and worst combinations are when no action is taken but whether it is positive or negative depends on something we cannot predict: which row it falls into – true or false

The argument has been criticised as being simplistic. Craven himself acknowledges the lack of probability attached to the criteria but says ‘do it for yourself’ and add your own information in – the overall effect will be the same. It is hard to disagree that based on his diagram ‘the risk of not acting far outweighs the risk of acting.’

To summarise the video in Craven’s own words: If we do not act, we could face ‘a conclusion that is inescapable and terrifying’. The argument itself has been great for promoting positive change of thought and it raises awareness of the topic. What do you think about the video?